Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cleveland Orchestra: Franz Welser-Most Conducts Mozart and Ravel

Mozart: Symphony No. 41 ("Jupiter") in C major, K.551
Ravel; Daphnis and Chloe: Choreographic Symphony In Three Parts (with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Robert Porco, director)
Franz Welser-Most, conductor.


2015 will be the year where I become far more opportunistic regarding which Cleveland Orchestra concerts I choose to attend, primarily due to a number of unfortunate changes artistically and administratively -- the most unfortunate of which being the extension of Franz Welser-Most's contract with the Orchestra -- as well as a number of resignations and retirements from within the artistic and administrative staffs, and a increasingly demanding professional workload -- I no longer feel the level of engagement with the orchestra that I once did.

Tonight's performance of Mozart's Symphony No. 41 left me sitting thinking of all of the things that I could have been doing with the time I had set aside to attend the concert, not to mention the money used to purchase the ticket. Running down I think any of them -- including changing the oil on my car -- would have been a better use of my time. Mr. Welser-Most's rendition was un-engaging and dispassionate that rather than taking me to a different world, as a great concert will do, I had to struggle to keep my attention on the piece rather than, say, the laundry I could be doing.

I've often said that the reason I enjoy live classical and detest listening to recorded classical is the dynamic range and exchange of energy that you get from the live orchestra -- I got neither of those tonight.

During intermission I pondered my predicament -- I generally like Ravel whereas I tend to lean indifferent to Mozart -- I decided with how miserable I was feeling toward the first piece and despite the investment in the ticket, I would be far better off just heading home to do laundry. And I feel good about that decision.

I think the lesson learned from tonight, and in the spirit of being more opportunistic (with the side benefit of saving some money for our trip to Paris in March) I will not be attending next week's concert -- nor, do I expect, other concerts conducted by Mr. Welser-Most in the near future. I am optimistic about the concert on January 24th (including Pictures at and Exhibition) 


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